Arrival & Settling In

I arrived at Park Campus on my move-in date, picked up all the necessary information and went to my accommodation afterwards. It was all pretty straight forward. I moved into halls of residence at the same time as all the UK students and therefore missed the introduction for international students , which was a week earlier. I regretted missing the chance to connect with them at first, but luckily there were enough people on my course and in halls to make friends with anyway.

Connecting with your fellow flatmates is very simple as long as you participate in conversations, socialise in common areas and don’t stick to your own room all the time, especially Freshers Week – your first week at university. Everyone is looking to meet new friends and you will therefore have no problem finding some. The accommodation is decent and halls of residence are probably the best way to connect with fellow students, next to societies, sport clubs and your course!

I also signed up to join the rowing team as a total rookie but the team is great! Next to training, we also have differently themed socials at a bar around the corner every Wednesday. It is loads of fun although I have to admit that it is hard to compete with the British drinking culture when I have a 9.15am lecture the next day… So I went from attending weekly at the beginning to just a few times to manage my studies and save some money.

Choosing a course in the UK

I chose University of Gloucestershire’s  International Business Management course because I have an international background, wanted to improve my English language skills and the course content seemed to be very interesting.

Similar courses in Germany are mainly based on lectures and theory, whereas the University of Gloucestershire focuses on a practical approach, leading to a higher employability. I also know my lecturers on a first-name basis and am not one anonymous student out of hundreds like in Germany. The entire Business School here has as many students as only the 1st year a popular course like Business Management in Frankfurt.

How I came to my decision? It was a long process and, admittedly, you could have done it with half the effort. I looked at which courses I would consider doing. I then kicked out all BSc courses, as they tend to have more Mathematics, Accounting and Economics involved – not my strength. I then checked these with the Guardian general and Business Management rankings: https://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2016/may/23/university-league-tables-2017#S240. I still ended up with a long list, so I went into detail of the course maps and university related information. I drew up a list of 15-20 universities and travelled through England, getting an impression of each one of them and the city located in. I dropped the Admission teams an e-mail and actually managed to meet a representative at most universities – unthinkable in Germany.

I arrived back home with my 5 choices and applied to UCAS (the application system for bachelor degrees in the UK) . I got an offer from all of them and made up my mind between the University of Gloucestershire and another one. My main reasons were the course content, the teaching style, the unique connection to a Business-centre run through the University called The Growth Hub and of course my impression during my visit.

Knowing all of that, I want to add that university in Germany is pretty much free and yet I still chose to come here, starting my working life with a debt and not knowing for certain how to manage my finances over the coming years. If that was a good idea, I will have to see but at the moment and two months into the academic year it seems to be.